Davos walking holiday

After previous walking holidays with Dad based in Interlaken, Cortina and Zermatt, this year we travelled to Davos in south-eastern Switzerland. We flew to Zürich airport and then took the train, changing in Zürich itself and then Landquart for the metre-gauge train to Davos Dorf, from where it was a short walk to our apartment.

Day 1

Early morning view from our apartment
We took the train to Klosters and from there the Gotschnabahn cable car in two sections. From near the top of the Gotschnabahn looking to Casanna and Grüenhorn
Continuing our way along the Panoramaweg, heading towards Parsennhütte
The all-important Swiss mountain restaurant where we stopped for a drink
A cheerful Dad as we continue the gently undulating Panoramaweg enjoying the views to the south
Looking down on Davos Dorf: our appartment is centre of the picture.
From the same spot, a more extensive panorama
We approach the line of the Parsennbahn funicular, looking here at the middle station where passengers change trains
A shelf hacked out of the rock continues our route around the side of the mountain – the route here was level and free of difficulties, but something about the cliffs towering above makes me suffer from vertigo when I would be fine with the steep drop if the steep rise wasn’t there.
Strelapass and the all-important mountain restaurant, where we stopped for another drink. Next stop Schatzalp, where the sign promises another opportunity for refreshments and a helping hand down to the valley bottom.
From Strelapass, looking up to the top of the Weissfluh, the top of this massif, where we will visit tomorrow.
Looking back at Strelapass as we begin our descent
Dad leads the way as we head down towards Schatzalp
Strelaalp, almost at Schatzalp and with the sound of cowbells in our ears, we passed this mountain restaurant, keen to get to the funicular railway down to Davos Platz.

Day 2

From next to the apartment, a view of the Parsennbahn funicular which will take us steeply up to the Weissflujoch in two stages.
Umbrellas in the pond
From the top of the Parsennbahn railway, the final stage to the Weissfluhgipfel is a cable car. The white rock of the name is immediately evident. We were the only two passengers. You can see faint evidence of the path across the mountain that we will use to descend back to the col seen here.
We have the Weissfluhgipfel to ourselves.
Descending from Weissfluhgipfel
After the steep descent to the col, the going is much easier along tracks built for access to the ski facilities. There is an interesting contrast between the white rock on the left and the dark rock on the right.
Departing from the easier tracks, we continue our gradual descent
Some greener scenery at last
Following our long descent, there was a climb back up through woods. Emerging from trees, the top cable car station at Gotschnagrat is visible, from where we started yesterday’s walk; today we will gently descend from here to pick up the cable car at the middle station at Gotschnaboden.
Jagged peaks abound in the distance as we look along the upper Landquart valley over unseen Klosters
Looking down on the Sunnibergbrücke which takes the road into a long tunnel, while the red train continues along the valley towards Klosters.
Another look along the upper Landquart valley and in the distance the Silvretta glacier.
The middle station at Gotschnaboden and we are ready to descend to Klosters for the train back to Davos.

Day 3

With the cloud down low and rain threatening from lunchtime, we took the train to Filisur and then another past Bergün to Preda, from where we walked down the valley back to Bergün, then train back to Filisur and a little diversion to see the Landwasser Viaduct, the railway and its structures being a UNESCO World Heritage site, before returning to Davos. We did get rained on, but not enough to spoil our day.

On the train, we climb away from Bergün by means of loops: the same line can be seen below us nearer the town.
As we walk down the valley from Preda, a train can just be seen in the distance beyond the viaduct.
A few minutes later, having looped through a tunnel, it crosses the viaduct
It then curves through another tunnel and gallery, and emerges even closer to us
The train crosses the river again and heads for another curving tunnel
The tunnel has brought the train out still higher
A few minutes later, another train has begun the descent from Preda
And enters the tunnel to our left. Time for us to continue our walk down the valley
One of the four viaducts that carry the line above the River Alvra
It is looking in really fine condition
A goods train
Railway and road squeeze into the valley
A walk through the town of Bergün
After a little ascent, a look back to the town from Bergün railway station
One of the “Crocodile” locomotives, the first electric locomotives on the line. This one, dating from 1922, is stationary, part of the railway museum, but another one offers occasional trips between Davos and Filisur.
From Filisur we have walked to get this view of the Landwasser Viaduct. The sixth of the arches is hidden behind the cliffs, after which the railway goes straight into the Landwasser Tunnel.
Looking down the line to the Schmittentobel Viaduct

Day 4

The route up today is from the Madrissabahn gondola station from near Klosters Dorf railway station.
As we begin our ascent from the upper Madrissabahn gondola station, we can look across to the Weissfluh massif where we walked on our first and second days.
Looking across Klosters, with Davos around the corner beyond the wisps of mist
At the Schaffürggli pass, 2376m up, we are greeted by goats.
The chair lift station, ready for the winter season
We then descended from the ski lift station (just visible on the horizon on the right)
That descent took us to the path towards Schlappiner Joch, the col centre picture (with some cliffs behind it beyond the next valley)
Here we are at Schlappiner Joch, and on the Swiss/Austrian border. The slightly worn sign says Österreich on this side
…and Schweiz on the reverse
Returning by a different route, a look back to Schlappiner Joch, with the Schlappin valley running up the centre of the photo

Day 6

The fifth day we went by train to Tirano in Italy across the Bernina Pass, a fabulous trip. On the sixth and final day of walking, we took the Jakobshornbahn cable car up to the top of Jakobshorn for a ridge walk followed by a long descent to the hamlet of Sertig Dörfli.

Views from Jakobshorn
Part of Lake Davos in the valley, and our Wednesday walk in the distance to the Schlapinner Joch pass into Austria on the right
Ascending the ridge towards the summit of Jatzhorn
On top of Jatzhorn at 2681m
Dad just visible in the distance on the next little summit
And me on the summit of Jatzhorn
Looking back along the ridge to Jatzhorn
The view from Rossboden – Dad is still ahead as we continue along the ridge
We then have a fairly easy cross-country descent
…eventually picking up the main path which has come from Jakobshorn
Continuing the descent into the valley
The hamlet of Sertig Dörfli in the valley bottom. Once there the postbus took us back to Davos, complete with musical horn all the way down this side valley to the main Davos valley.
We then went a little further down the main valley, then ascended again, this time via the Rinerhorn gondola, so that we had completed the full set of cable cars, gondolas and funiculars available to us with our week’s pass.
At the top of the Rinerhorn gondola, a well earned drink.

And so ended a glorious week. Davos itself was extremely quiet at the end of the summer season, and quite a few places were closed. But it had the advantage that all the valley railways and mountain lifts were fairly quiet all week. We had one relatively poor weather day, but otherwise were blessed with lots of sunshine and the right amount of warmth for it to be very comfortable for walking. The week after we left they had endless rain in the valleys and snow on the mountains – we were lucky.

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